Swapping out carbohydrates for more filling and nutrient dense ingredients is nothing new, we still can’t get enough of cauliflower rice, but we thought we share some of our favourite low carb swaps including butterbean mash, in the hopes of inspiring your next meal.
Now, we’re not trying to say there’s anything wrong with carbs, we definitely need them to fuel us day to day, but sometimes it’s nice to switch things up and eat a meal that doesn’t have us reaching for stretchy pants.
These low carb swaps are ideal if you’re looking for a way to include more vegetables in your diet too.
The reality is we’re not got out switch out potato mash for the butterbean version on our Sunday roast, but it’s perfect for midweek meals when we want something a little lighter on the stomach.
Pair your butterbean mash with some cabbage and sausages for an evening meal that feels like a big hug.
The great thing is, as the textures of the beans when they’ve been blended is really creamy, you won’t feel like you’re the missing the addition of butter, milk or cream.
The legumes have a lower GI and are higher in fibre compared to white potatoes, so provide a more sustained source of energy. They’re also packed with B Vitamins, vital for energy production in every cell in the body.
Like we’ve mentioned before we love cauliflower rice, but if you’re looking to switch things up try some broccoli in the same way. We wouldn’t recommend using a grater like you can with cauliflower because the mess will be unreal, particularly when you get to the head of the broccoli. But if you have access to a food processor, riced broccoli is a great alternative if you’re growing tired of cauliflower rice or would like to add more greens into your diet.
You’ve can’t beat fajita night, but when you’re eating them alongside rice or potato wedges, tortilla wraps can feel a little too much. And we all know it’s about the fajita filling and toppings anyway. Switching out tortillas for lettuce wraps means you can definitely enjoy more of them without filling up on the bread part.
Romaine lettuce or sweet gem lettuce types are great because they’re perfectly shaped for you to add in fillings.
Swiss chard is another excellent option because it’s so robust too, no chance of your fillings bursting out when you’ve overstuffed them like us.
Burger and fries is the ultimate indulgent meal for a lot of us, but admittedly the bit of lettuce we have on our burger doesn’t really equate to a nutrient dense meal. But switch out that burger bun for two Portobello mushrooms and your meal will definitely count towards one of your five-a-day.
We have to admit that they’re ridiculously messy to eat, thanks to the water in the mushrooms, but it’s definitely worth the mess. Just make sure you have plenty of napkins to hand if you’re using your hands to eat it.
As much as we might enjoy the smell and taste of pizza, the feeling afterwards when you’ve eaten one too many slices is not something to be desired. However, making your own aubergine pizzas ensures you still get the delicious smell of them cooking, plenty of taste and no carb coma afterwards.
Cut them width ways to make loads of mini circle pizzas, or cut them lengthways for a more sub-style pizza baguette.
Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
We’ve pretty much tried them all when it comes to cauliflower substitute recipes, pizza bases, hash browns, cauliflower steaks etc. But our favourite at the moment has to be cauliflower mac and cheese. This is great as a side, or even as a main. Admittedly if we’re doing this we’re like to add in some macaroni to pad out the meal to ensure we’re sufficiently full.
So switching out ground almonds for breadcrumbs isn’t going to make the biggest difference to how we feel at the end of the meal, but it will definitely benefit our health in the long run. Almonds are definitely more nutrient-rich in comparison to breadcrumbs; they’re filled with protein and healthy fats. So, whilst they might seem like an unnecessary swap to make, they’ll definitely make a difference to your health.
Sweet potato toast
Yes, we’ve fallen for the food trend. And although it takes A LOT of effort to cut the sweet potatoes in this way, it’s worth the effort. You might not get the same enjoyment as eating beans on sweet potato as you would beans on thick buttery toast, but your gut will definitely feel better for it. Plus, the toppings are endless, from sweet and savoury options.
Croutons for walnuts
Carbohydrates can cause high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or ‘bad’ cholesterol, which is bad news for your heart. For a healthier salad, replace carb-laden croutons with walnuts, which are high in polyunsaturated fat — a good fat that can lower LDL while boosting HDL (‘good’) cholesterol.